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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The identification of many successive generations of the Johns family with England remained unbroken until James T. Johns in 5^ouug manhood left Great Britain for the newly discovered mines of the far west. In common with the majority of the ambitious Argonauts of that period, he embarked in mining pursuits, but he continued in the same industry for a much longer time than many and he also met with a fair degree of success in his ventures. For many years he held a position as foreman for the North Star Mining Company, and meanwhile he acquired mining stock of his own, so that ultimately he owned large interests in two gold mines in California. Among the miners of the early days he bad a high reputation for accuracy of judgment and energy of temperament. Nor was a loyalty of devotion to his adopted country less in evidence among his most pronounced qualities. At the time of coming to this country he was a mere lad, and it was not until 1876 that he established domestic ties, his marriage in that year uniting him with Miss Elizabeth Adams, who had the distinction of being one of the first white children born in the northern part of California. During the early development of Nevada county her father, William H. Adams, held rank as a prominent man of affairs, a leading politician and for several terms the incumbent of the office of sheriff.

In the family of James T. Johns there was but one child, Fred J., whose birth occurred at Grass Valley, Nevada county, Cal., September 13, 1878, and whose schooling was had in the little town where he was born. Quite early in life he studied telegraphy and after he had acquired accuracy in the art he became operator at Grass Valley for the Western Union Telegraph Company. At the expiration of six years he resigned that position and began to assist Ms father in mining affairs. In October, 189G, he came to Sacramento and turned his attention to the realty business as a salesman for the Carmichael Company, and it was not long before he had proved his value in that connection. It is characteristic of him that he judges real estate values with almost unerring precision and he possesses the further qualification of finding without delay the kind of property a would-be buyer prefers. On the 1st of April, 1909, he opened an office on K street for a general real estate and brokerage business, but later he removed to No. 1023 Ninth street, where he has every modern convenience desirable in the management of his business or in the personal comfort afforded by his quarters. Besides being associated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, for years he held official positions with the Native Sons of the Golden West. During 1905 he was appointed a member of the committee that was instrumental in promoting the celebration and electrical parade commemorating Admission Day in Sacramento.

The marriage of Fred J. Johns and Miss Flo Robinette of Sacramento took place in this city in 1902. They are the parents of three children, namely: Fred R., born December 18, 1904; California, who was born September 9, 1906, on Admission Day, and was named in commemoration of this date, and Marjorie, born July 25, 1908. Mrs. Johns gives earnest and capable assistance to the work of the English Lutheran church, with which she is associated as a member, and in addition she is also a member of the Tuesday club. Her father, John L. Robinette, was the founder of the California Odd Fellow, the official organ of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in the state, and was one of the leading state workers of that organization. At the time of his death, in September of 1899, he was so influential and so prominent in the order that, had his life been spared for a few more years, he would have received the very highest honors within the power of the fraternity to bestow. In his demise the order sustained a heavy loss and his home city also was deprived of one of its most loyal and patriotic men. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011